Vacancy

March 6th, 2008 DVD Reviews, Film, Xpress

After the unexpected but huge success of last year’s Disturbia, a rash of Hitchcock knock-offs was inevitable.

In this case, the filmmakers have taken the rhythms and sentiment of the Master of Suspense too literally and some of the set-up is just stupid. If you’re trapped in a motel run by crazed killers and surrounded by dark forest on every side, why would you keep running back to the room to barricade yourself in?

Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson are the estranged couple, mourning the death of their child, on the verge of divorce and ready to snap. When they get lost on a rural road in the middle of the night, it seems like the last straw. But after they’re checked in by the creepy night manager and see the filthy, unkempt room, things turn worse.

As she goes to bed in a petulant huff, he puts a VCR on the dodgy entertainment system to see what appears to be a snuff film — shot in the very room he and his wife are in.

Terror descends as it becomes clear they’re to end up on the next recording, and as the killers descend, the two have to try to stay out of their way, escape or fight back. It’s a good premise but has a very lacklustre approach at times. Apart from the serious miscasting of Wilson, Vacancy can’t conjure up anything special, and can’t do enough with what it has.


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